Division of State Human Resources

Annual Leave

References

 

Topics

 
Employees in full-time equivalent (FTE) positions who are scheduled to work at least one-half of the workdays of the month are eligible to earn annual leave. Eligible employees begin to accrue leave during their first month of employment. Teaching personnel and officials of academic rank at institutions of higher learning do not earn annual leave under these regulations.

 

Eligibility

  • An employee who works less than 12 months a year accrues annual leave at the same rate as other employees in FTE positions, but only for the months the employee is in a paid status.

  • A part-time employee scheduled to work at least one-half of the workdays of the month is eligible to earn annual leave on a pro-rata basis.

 

Annual Leave Accrual Rates

 

Chart #1
Five Days, 37.5 Hours Per Workweek Schedule
(may be rounded to the nearest two decimal places)
Years of Service
Days Per Year
Hours Per Month
 
1-10
15.00
  9.375
 
11
16.25
10.156
 
12
17.50
10.937
 
13
18.75
11.718
 
14
20.00
12.500
 
15
21.25
13.281
 
16
22.50
14.062
 
17
23.75
14.843
 
18
25.00
15.624
 
19
26.25
16.406
 
20
27.50
17.187
 
21
28.75
17.968
 
22 & over
30.00
18.750
 
 
Chart #2
Five Days, 40 Hours Per Workweek Schedule
(may be rounded to the nearest two decimal places)
 
 
Years of Service
 
Days Per Year
Hours Per Month
 
1-10
15.00
10.000
 
11
16.25
10.833
 
12
17.50
11.666
 
13
18.75
12.500
 
14
20.00
13.333
 
15
21.25
14.167
 
16
22.50
15.000
 
17
23.75
15.833
 
18
25.00
16.667
 
19
26.25
17.500
 
20
27.50
18.333
 
21
28.75
19.167
 
22 & over
30.00
20.000
 
  • An employee's leave accrual date reflects the following: 1) all State service in an FTE position, including part-time service, adjusted to reflect any break in service; 2) all service as a certified employee in a permanent position of a school district of this State; and 3) all service in any temporary capacity counted toward the employee's probationary period.
  • Service as an employee of the legislative or judicial branches of SC State Government may be reflected in the leave accrual date.
  • Service as an employee of a quasi-state agency may be considered when establishing an employee's leave accrual date. Some quasi-state agencies include, but are not limited to: State Ports Authority, Santee Cooper, Public Service Authority, Savannah Valley Authority, Carolina Capital Investment Corporation (CCIC), SC Education Lottery, and the Medical University Hospital Association.
  • A part-time employee in an FTE position earns annual leave based on the employee's average workday. The average workday is determined by dividing the total number of hours the employee is regularly scheduled to work during a week by five.
     
Example: An employee works 30 hours per week in an agency than has a 37.5-hour workweek. To determine the leave accrual rate for this employee, first determine the average workday by dividing the 30-hour workweek by 5. The employee has an average workday of 6 hours. Second, determine the monthly leave accrual rate by multiplying the number of annual leave days the employee earns per month by the employee's average workday. This employee earns 1.25 annual leave days per month, which is multiplied by the 6-hour average workday. This employee would earn 7.5 hours of annual leave per month.

 

Bonus Annual Leave Accrual

  • An employee with State service time of more than 10 years earns a bonus of 1¼ workdays of annual leave per year for each year of service over 10 years.

  • After completing 10 years of service an employee shall begin earning bonus annual leave on a calendar month basis beginning the month after his leave accrual date.

 

Annual Leave Maximum Usage

  • Generally, an employee may not use more than 30 workdays of annual leave in any one calendar year. A part-time employee may not use more than 30 average workdays of annual leave in any one calendar year.

  • For Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) qualifying reasons, an agency may allow an employee who has used all eligible sick leave and 30 days of annual leave to use any remaining annual leave for emergencies or serious health conditions of the employee and emergencies or serious health conditions of the employee's immediate family.

 

Maximum Annual Leave Carryover

  • Generally, an employee may carry forward 45 average workdays of annual leave from one calendar year to the next.
 
Examples:
Number of Hours Normally Scheduled to Work Each Week (does not include overtime)
 
 
 
Average Workday
 
 
Maximum Annual Leave Carryover in Hours
37.5
7.5
(37.5 hours divided by 5 workdays)
 
337.50 hours
(7.5 hours x 45 days)
40
8
(40 hours divided by 5 workdays)
 
360 hours
(8 hours x 45 days)
30
(part-time employee)
6
(30 hours divided by 5 workdays)
 
270 hours
(6 hours x 45 days)
Note: If this change results in the employee having a maximum accumulation in excess of 45 average workdays in the new part-time status, as of the effective date of the change, the employee will not forfeit the excess. The employee will retain this excess leave which is the maximum amount the employee may carry over in future years. If the employee subsequently reduces the amount of such leave carried over, the reduced amount, if in excess of 45 average workdays, will become the employee's maximum carryover into future years or less. If the amount of leave carried over is less than 45 average workdays then 45 days will become the maximum amount of unused leave the employee may carry forward thereafter.

 

Changes in Work Schedules That Impact Annual Leave

  • If an employee moves to a position that requires a different number of hours in a workweek, the employee's annual leave balance must be converted as follows: 1) Convert the employee's annual leave hourly balance earned in the previous position to days; and 2) Multiply the total number of days by the number of hours worked per day in the new position.

For example, an employee transfers from an agency that has a 37.5-hour workweek to an agency that works 40 hours a week. The employee has 150 hours of unused annual leave prior to the transfer. The 150 hours divided by the 7.5-hour day (from the 37.5 hour workweek) converts to 20 days of annual leave to be transferred. The 20 days of annual leave should then be multiplied by the new 8-hour workday at the new agency, resulting in the employee's new hourly leave balance of 160 hours.

  • If an employee reduces their work hours from full-time to part-time, the employee's annual leave balance must be converted to the new average workday. To convert the leave balance, divide the total number of accrued annual leave hours by the number of hours in the new part-time average workday.

Example: An employee worked a 7.5-hour workday as a full-time employee (37.5-hour workweek) and had an annual leave balance of 40 days (or 300 hours of leave). If this employee reduces their work hours to 30 hours a week, their new average workday is 6 hours. Divide the 300 hours of annual leave by the 6-hour average workday, and the employee's converted annual leave balance is 50 days (or 300 hours of leave).
 

Note: If this change results in the employee having a maximum accumulation in excess of 45 average workdays in the new part-time status, as of the effective date of the change, the employee will not forfeit the excess. The employee will retain this excess leave which is the maximum amount the employee may carry over in future years. If the employee subsequently reduces the amount of such leave carried over, the reduced amount, if in excess of 45 average workdays, will become the employee's maximum carry over into future years or less. If the amount of leave carried over is less than 45 average workdays then 45 days will become the maximum amount of unused leave the employee may carry over thereafter.

 

Transferring Annual Leave Balances

  • If an employee transfers from one state agency to another, the employee's annual leave balance transfers to the receiving agency. The funds associated with the balance, however, do not transfer. The receiving agency accepts the liability for the employee's unused annual leave balance.

  • An employee from the legislative or judicial branch who is hired by a State agency may transfer their unused annual leave balance if the leave from the legislative or judicial branch was earned in accordance with the Annual Leave Act.

  • An employee from a quasi-state agency who is hired by a State agency may transfer his unused annual leave balance if the leave from the quasi-state agency was earned in accordance with the Annual Leave Act.

  • An employee of a school district may not transfer their unused annual leave when they are hired by a State agency.

  • An employee's annual leave accrual will be based on their average workday in the new position. If applicable, an employee's annual leave balance must be converted to the new average workday before the balance is transferred to the new agency.
     

Example: An employee working 8.0 hours per day at Agency A with 45 days of accrued annual leave, transfers to Agency B which has a 7.5 hour workday; therefore, the employee has 45-7.5 hours of accrued annual leave or 337.5 hours of annual leave. In transferring the annual leave, Agency A should transfer to Agency B 45 days or 337.5 hours of annual leave.

 

Payment of Unused Annual Leave Upon Separation

  • Upon separation from employment, an employee will receive a lump-sum payment for unused annual leave not to exceed 45 days. Exceptions: (1) Retired members of the South Carolina Police Retirement System (PORS) who are hired by the State are not eligible for a lump-sum payment for unused leave regardless of initial retirement date. (2) All other retirees who were hired by the State after June 30, 2005, are not eligible for a lump-sum payment for unused leave. 

  • TERI participants are eligible for a lump-sum payment when their TERI period ends or they otherwise separate from State service.

  • The annual leave payout should be calculated based on the employee's final rate of pay, including longevity, temporary salary adjustments, special assignment pay or any other pay that the employee is receiving at the time of separation.

THE LANGUAGE USED IN THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT CREATE AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE AND THE AGENCY. THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT CREATE ANY CONTRACTUAL RIGHTS OR ENTITLEMENTS. THE AGENCY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REVISE THE CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT, IN WHOLE OR IN PART. NO PROMISES OR ASSURANCES, WHETHER WRITTEN OR ORAL, WHICH ARE CONTRARY TO OR INCONSISTENT WITH THE TERMS OF THIS PARAGRAPH CREATE ANY CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT.